9. Casey Stoner Retires

You would think having two MotoGP World Championship titles and sitting seventh all-time in Grand Prix race victories would garner a lot of respect. But for some reason, Casey Stoner seemed to have as many detractors as supporters during his 12-year GP career. There was no denying Stoner’s talent, but his often-times awkward relationship with the media and a tendency to make pointed and often controversial statements about other racers and the state of the sport led many to call him “Casey Moaner”.

Coming off his second championship – with two different manufacturers to boot! – Stoner was a favorite to repeat in 2012. It was a shock however during a press conference ahead of the fourth round at Le Mans that Stoner announced his intention to retire at the end of the season.

And even then, his retirement statement was very Casey-like, lobbing one more critique of the sport he dominated just the year before.

“After so many years of doing this sport which I love, and which myself and my family made so many sacrifices for, after so many years of trying to get to where we have gotten to at this point, this sport has changed a lot and it has changed to the point where I am not enjoying it. I don’t have the passion for it and so at this time it’s better if I retire now,” Stoner said.

What’s next for Stoner? Besides spending more time with his wife Adriana and his daughter Alessandra Maria, Stoner may be turning his attention to V8 Supercar racing.